The navies of India and Japan are conducting a week-long joint military exercise in the waters off India’s east coast. The naval exercises follow the recently held “two-plus-two” security dialogue between the two countries, both of which face serious security challenges posed by increasing Chinese assertiveness.
The sixth edition of the Japan India Maritime Exercise 2022 (JIMEX 22) kicked off in the Bay of Bengal on Sunday and is being hosted by the Indian Navy, according to a statement from the country’s defense ministry. The drills, which consist of two phases, will be held at sea and in Visakhapatnam port.
This year’s exercise coincides with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Japan.
“JIMEX 22 seeks to consolidate the high degree of interoperability that exists between the naval forces of the two countries through complex surface, subsurface and airborne exercises,” the Indian Ministry of Defense statement added.
The exercises will involve the helicopter carrier Izumo and destroyer Takanami on the Japanese side, along with the Indian Navy’s destroyer INS Ranvijay and frigate INS Sahyadri.
India and Japan held their second Indo-Japan 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Tokyo on September 8. Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar joined Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.
In an effort to expand its domestic shipbuilding capabilities and counter Chinese claim in the region, India recently launched its first homebuilt aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region and the Indian ocean have been ignored for too long.
In recent years, China has expanded its presence in the Indian Ocean region. In August, despite security concerns, Beijing sailed from New Delhi in a naval vessel to a Chinese-built port in Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port. China claimed it was a scientific research ship. However, Indian and foreign security experts called it a Chinese naval vessel that has been used to track satellites and missiles in the past.
Japan recently condemned Chinese military drills near Taiwan after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August as a “serious problem” and a threat to regional peace and security after five ballistic missiles struck Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (AWZ) had landed. The country is concerned that China could invade Japan’s disputed islands of Senkaku, by force if necessary, as part of its effort to seize Taiwan – a self-governing democracy – which Beijing sees as reunited with the mainland.
In response to concerns about China’s growing clout in the region, the Indian Navy last year deployed four warships to Southeast Asia, the South China Sea and the western Pacific to participate in bilateral exercises with several countries and multilateral exercises with members of the other “Quad ” Group of Nations – the United States, Japan and Australia.
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/india-japan-conduct-navy-drills-bay-bengal-counter-chinese-assertiveness-1838327?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution India and Japan conduct naval exercises in the Bay of Bengal to counter Chinese assertiveness